Archive for August, 2011

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

Here we are, back in Potsdam once again!  Since I got back early for the leadership conference, I got to help with all of the Welcome Weekend events.  It all began Friday, which was move in day for the first year students.  I wasn’t assigned anywhere during the morning, so I spent my time finishing my room and running errands around campus for the most part.  My afternoon was devoted to helping everyone move in.  It was mostly a lot of questions being answered (Can I have a toaster?  Where’s the trash room?  Which way to the Union?  How do I adjust my bed?).  It was exciting to me to finally be the one answering the questions – not asking them.

The next day, all of the returning students moved back to campus.  This was probably the highlight of my weekend because I got to see all my friends, including my roommate!  It was so strange going from living together to being separated for three months and it’s awesome to be reunited again.  I helped a lot of my friends get settled back into their rooms and just catching up with them.  It’s great to be back with my Potsdam family for sure!

Sunday was the Welcome Weekend Carnival – a SUNY Potsdam tradition.  It’s held in the Maxcy Field House and has lots of games, food and other activities like tie-dying and making your own stuffed animal.  Every club is assigned a booth, so it’s also a great way to get to see everything that’s offered around campus and get to meet new people.  I was helping to run the booth for Dance Ensemble – Kan Jam.  We had a ton of people sign our interest sheet for DE so I think it’s going to be a really great year!  It was a lot of fun because I got to spend the day with all of my dance friends.  Even though it’s been three months, it’s almost like we never left.

I’m so happy to be back in my beautiful Potsdam, reunited with life in Sisson Hall and surrounded by some of the greatest people I could imagine.  This semester is certainly going to be one to remember!

Satterlee Hall

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

This past weekend was the absolutely perfect cap to summer.  Our dance studio had the annual contemporary dance showcase, and I finally got to watch my large group piece that I choreographed from the audience, instead of backstage between the curtains or in the classroom.  It was totally different being able to step away and really see it for all that it was, and I was legitimately crying by the end of it.  Of course the show didn’t go off without a hitch; one of our older students didn’t show up, leaving a gap for the partnering section and an eleven year old without a base for her lifts.  Luckily, I have such a talented group of students that they pulled it off anyway.  I love you, my little flying trout!  Oh, dance nicknames…

That night was extra special because my entire family was there.  Everyone was coming into town for my grandmother’s 90th birthday party the next day.  It was the first time that my grandma had her two surviving siblings, all 5 children, and all 7 grandchildren together in one place at the same time.  We stretch from New York, to Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon, and even Puerto Rico!  It was such an amazing experience.  The day of the party, we had a family photo session and I can’t wait to get my hands on those pictures.  It’s rare that more than four of us cousins are together at the same time, and I loved every second of it.  I couldn’t have been any happier.

The perfect night cap to an already amazing weekend was staying up all night with my best friend, Kevin.  We’ve always been so close, but we’ve hardly gotten to spend any time together this summer with us both working so much, and being out of town visiting family and friends.  Regardless, we’re still as close as ever.  By five a.m. we figured we should probably call it a night, especially since I had plans with my cousin only 3 hours later.

I am so thankful to be surrounded by such amazing people at home, but it made leaving harder than ever.  I never got that upset any other time I left home, but this time I couldn’t help but cry.  It was such an amazing summer, and I got so much closer to my family and best friends.  As we approached Potsdam, my sadness turned to excitement about my life and friends there.  As soon as we drove into town, I remembered why I love Potsdam so much.  It’s another home here – I’m just lucky enough to have two!  For now, it’s a little lonely being in my room by myself, since my roommate won’t return until Saturday sometime, but it still feels great to be back on campus.  I can’t wait to see all my old friends, and meet the new freshman!  Come on everyone – hurry up and get here!

Becky's Grandmother turns 90!

Becky's Grandmother with her birthday announcement

Becky with family

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

I’ve come to the realization that not only is it August, but August is halfway OVER already.  I’m going back to Potsdam in just a week!  It’s strange, because I feel like it’s been so long since I was at school, yet it seems like summer has hardly existed yet.  I’ve since made a resolution to live out the last bit of summer to the maximum and make sure I have something to remember when I return to the frozen tundra.

It’s been a little busy, because I’ve had a lot of responsibilities corresponding with my role as Maid of Honor in one of my closest friend from home, Bonnie’s, wedding.  She will be walking down the aisle Labor Day weekend, and it’s coming up WAY too fast.  I have so much left to do!  Last weekend was her Bridal Shower and it was so much fun.  It was great meeting the other Bridesmaids, as well as some extended members of the family that I had never met before.  As great of a time that we had, it still stoked the fire of stress inside me realizing that I only have three short weeks before the wedding and there is still so much left to do.  Time to make a checklist!

This last week was also the last week of our summer dance program at my hometown studio.  Working there all summer has been a highlight, because I absolutely adore teaching.  The kids at the dance studio are like little siblings to me and we’ve always been extremely close.  Every time I leave, we have some sort of party that somehow always ends in tears.  It’s hard spending every day with each other and then suddenly being a few hundred miles apart!  I think it’ll be a little easier this time, since we’ve gone through it a few times already, but I don’t think it’ll make me miss them any less.  Luckily, we still have a few events this summer, so we get to work together a bit more before I leave.  They’ve progressed so much this summer and I couldn’t be more proud of all my little munchkins.

Of course the realization that summer is quickly fleeting means that I have to spend more time with all my friends from home.  Many shopping trips (but buying only the basics, since I have quite the bill to pay to fix my car), walks in the park, late night coffee runs, bonfires and pizza parties have occurred, and this next week promises even more.  It’s sad to think we’re all going to be separated for MONTHS again!  I’m certainly going to use every second of every day to the maximum and get all that I can out of my last few days with them before summer ends.  We have to make it count!

Becky and her best friend, Annemarie

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Becky Rivera, Class of 2014

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to New York City to participate in the Dance Teacher Summit.  The Summit is an annual event for dance educators.  It is four days long and jam-packed with classes, seminars and performances.  It’s an amazing event, and my head is still exploding with information even though I’ve been home for five days already!

The first day, Thursday, my hometown teacher, Amy Burns-Cuozzo, her daughter and current student teacher, Makenzie, and my mom, the studio’s office manager, left at noon for New York City.  We checked into our room, dropped off our stuff and started off on a whirlwind weekend.  That day we had registration, and an optional welcome seminar, but we decided against it in hopes of seeing a Broadway show instead.  We went to several box offices, and wound up getting rush tickets to see Chicago!  After a fantastic dinner, we headed to the theatre.  We expected a great show, but our expectations were even further exceeded.  When we walked out of the theatre, we were even more shocked to run into an actor from the show who signed our programs and posed for a picture with us!

The next three days went by in a blur.  I took ballet class from Finis Jung, a placement class from Denise Wall, a contemporary class from Mandy Moore, a lyrical class from Doug Caldwell, and jazz-tango from the 86-year old Luigi.  The teachers of the classes were all the masters of their subjects and people I have looked up to my entire life.  It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to learn from them, and to be able to take what I have learned and bring it back home to my students.

I also took seminars on teaching special needs students, studio branding, and studio structure.  I learned so much from both the classes and the seminars and I’m still trying to make sort it all out in my brain!  At the end of the Summit, we registered early for next year.  I had such a great time, and I can’t wait to go back again!

Becky posing with one of the stars from Chicago

Becky catching a Broadway Show

Becky in NYC


Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Vince, Class of 2013

This summer I was given the opportunity to work and live at Camp Susan Curtis, a non-profit youth summer camp in Stoneham, Maine. The camp caters to economically disadvantaged children ages eight through sixteen. I’m spending four weeks here and loving it so far! It’s a positive working atmosphere for young adults wanting to make a difference in Maine youth and gives kids a healthy environment to develop into upstanding citizens. The camp is seated on Trout Lake and is a major wildlife preserve, not a day goes by where you don’t hear a loon call or see a giant blue herring soar over the cabins. There are also two mountains near camp that every cabin scales on a day-hiking trip to enjoy views of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and surrounding lakes. I live in a cabin with seven thirteen year old boys and another male counselor, which has definitely been a learning experience. I spend my day working mainly in an outdoor adventures program and with the sports department. Each day I bring a small group of kids into the woods with a few other counselors and we teach them how to enjoy Maine’s great outdoors. Just in the past couple of days I took groups of kids fishing, fire building, hiking, constructing lean-to shelters, and frog catching. For sports, I coached T-ball for a few classes and now teach floor hockey. The camp also puts on evening activities that involve all of the 146 campers here. For example, last night we played a really intense game of capture the flag and the night before we had a talent show. My co-workers are all enthusiastic counselors dedicated to shaping the leaders of tomorrow. This is a great way to spend the last remaining weeks of summer, but I’m so excited for school to start back up again!


Allen Mountain

Camp Susan Curtis

Camp Susan Curtis